Letters 13-11-2010

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 13.11.10
Taxi trauma at grouch gateway

lTo answer the question “What problems do you face while exiting Calcutta airport?”, November 3, I must say that the hassles of getting a pre-paid taxi at the airport has to be experienced to be believed. A few months back, after standing in queue for what seemed an eternity, I found that the taxi allotted to me had already picked up a passenger and left. I had to haul back my luggage to the pre-paid counter and bargain hard with the taxi operators to find me another cab. This process took me another half-an-hour.

The system could be easily streamlined. Supervision and professionalism are the key. The change in attitude will trickle from top to bottom.

Shiva Gunapu,
Adelaide, Australia

Counter points

Like others, I too would love to criticise Calcutta airport. But a better approach would be to give suggestions to improve the system.

At the pre-paid taxi booth, there is only one counter, manned by three people. I am sure one person can manage one counter, which means the three pre-paid taxi counters can be opened with the current staff strength, thereby reducing the waiting time.

Winnifred Braganza,
Collin Lane

Here are my thoughts on the airport mess:

The root cause of the mayhem is the very slow exit of arriving passengers. Moreover, a long queue for pre-paid taxis at the exit lobby adds to the mess. One way out is to shift the pre-paid taxi booth with additional counters to outside the exit lobby and allow passengers to board cars and cabs at least 50 metres from the exit gate.

Additional car parking space is a must.

To provide a flight information monitor at the car park for tracking flight arrival/departure schedules.

Entry tickets should be issued on an hourly basis to control the rush.

Sahana Chaudhuri
Address not given

lI landed at Calcutta airport at 10pm and headed for the pre-paid taxi booth. There were about 15-20 people in the queue. The person manning the booth suddenly went missing for 20 minutes.

As we waited, some airport employees chose to drive a line of trolleys through our queue, causing much inconvenience. When we protested, the employees let loose a stream of abuses at us.

Aishik Mukhopadhyay,
Address not given


Touting has been the largest avenue of self-employment under the Left Front rule for over three decades.

Despite the Metro stories on rampant corruption at the motor vehicles department, the goons continue with their illegal business. Be it the airport or Howrah station, the story is the same across Bengal.

S. Sarma,

lI have been staying in Calcutta for the last three years. On October 11, I was waiting in queue to enter the domestic terminal when I saw a girl trying to hail a taxi. The men at the pre-paid taxi booth started abusing her for not taking a pre-paid one. The girl then went to the security person at the gate and asked for help.

To my utter surprise, the cop simply said: “That’s not my duty”! This incident made me wonder if passengers are really safe at Calcutta airport. When will Calcutta change?

Swati Gupta,
Address not given


During Puja, I requested for a pre-paid taxi to Private Road in Dum Dum. I was told that no taxi would go there because of traffic jam. I came out and found many taxis standing outside and they demanded Rs 200 for the trip. Normally the fare would be about Rs 80 by the taxi meter. Finally I had to settle for Rs 120. At the pre-paid counter, a development fee is charged by the Bengal Taxi Association. I wonder what or where the development is!

Swapan Datta,
Address not given

No one seems concerned that a large crowd outside the airport is a prime target for a terrorist attack. In the US, the police allow people the minimum time needed to drop off passengers or pick up someone at the airport gates.

Indra Banerjee,
Address not given


Last month, I arrived at Calcutta airport at 11.30pm from Mumbai. After waiting for an hour I got a pre-paid taxi. But it broke down on VIP Road at 12.37am. I had to get another taxi. The airport authorities do not even check the condition of the taxis before allotting them to passengers.

Sanmoy Das,


lI urge Metro to keep on exposing the maladies afflicting Calcutta airport till the authorities wake up.

T.K. Kumar,
New Delhi

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